Jonah Series: Lesson One

Jonah 1:1-3

1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2  Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.3  But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah was one of the 12 “minor” prophets  called minor simply because they are small books –  all 12 total 66 chapters, Isaiah 66 chapters, NT 66 books  There is nothing minor about any of the books of the bible

2 Timothy 3:16 

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Four views of Jonah

  1. Legendary fiction
  2. Parable – a legend, but fiction
  3. Allegory – representative of Israel
  4. Historical fact – factual
Jonah was a real historical person
II Kings 14:23-25 – 23

  In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years. 24  And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.25  He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher.

Jesus referred to Jonah
Matthew 12:38-41- 38

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

The book can be broken down in four phrases
  1.         The prodigal prophet – running from God
  2.         The praying prophet – running to God
  3.         The preaching prophet – running with God
  4.         The pouting prophet – running ahead of God

Two commissions = chapter 1-2 began with disobedience and ended with obedience. Chapter 3-4 – began with obedience and ended with disobedience


  1. Go to Nineveh –  The world power of that day
  2. Cry against it =


It was a very wicked city


He fled – Tarsus on the coast of Spain – some 2500 miles from Nineveh – went west instead of east

He hated the Ninevites – Jonah did not want the Ninevites saved  – they were a cruel evil people – believed in torturing people –

Offered their babies to their gods as a burning offering – they would place the babies on the alter of fire and sing and chant

During this time Nineveh was attacking into Israel – they were taking the women captive

Jonah knew God – He preached judgment – His preaching led to repentance and salvation of the whole city – must have been a powerful message

He disobedient to God – ran from the will of God because He did not like the will of God

God never used a prophet to carry the message to the nations around Israel – this was the first time God took His message to the gentile nations – Jonah did in the old testament what Paul did in the new.  He took the word of God to the gentiles

NOTE: the messenger is not the important focus, it is the message that is the important message

God will take His servant to the lowest point necessary in order to get obedience-  God knows that real joy comes from obedience

Author: churchatliberty

Liberty is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church in the Wilmington, NC area. We invite you to check us out. Email me at for information about our church

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